Seiko´s Printek division – the division responsible for the Industrial Inkjet printheads – is aiming to bring a dependable printhead for printing water-based inks.
Water is considered a safer alternative to the environment that previously used harsh chemicals, however, existing hardware isn’t compatible with it causing corrosion to the printhead.
Water has proved its corrosive behavior time and again in printheads as it could eat through some of the critical parts. The engineers in Seiko realized that this corrosion is not happening during the compatibility testing but actually taking place during a long-term jetting test. In such a test, the piezo in the print head moves to simulate the life cycle of the printhead.
Seiko’s reliability of RC1536 in water-based printheads
These tests actually had to be done after every iteration and engineers were busy until finally, the perfect parts arrived which did not limit the functionality of the printhead and also remained stable for a time longer than the stipulated lifetime of the printhead. It can be seen that there are existing products in the market that can print water-based inks. Seiko claims it is not only bringing a water-based printhead into the market but actually bringing the reliability and robustness of its RC1536 series of printheads into the new generation market fitting perfectly to the environmental concerns of the new age.
Starting from the ceramics market, more and more environmental norms are disrupting production. Seiko’s RC1536 print head can be replaced one to one with its existing oil-based versions. This makes it easy for the machine’s manufacturers to adopt the change and address the market demands at the earliest. The product is now being tested in other fields such as corrugated cardboard, 3D printing and textiles. Seiko sees a strong requirement in the market for a product that can cater to the high reliability, high drop volume and wide range of operations.
Seiko next plans to closely work with ink manufacturers to find out where are the limits and possibilities to develop a complete solution for the different market segments. Inkjet by itself is a symphony and not a one man show. To bring a much-needed change into the market the entire process has to be worked out with the experts of the industry from the different parts of the process to make an inkjet system work.